We bought our land in the fall of 2007 and spent the winter thinking about what to do with 7 acres 26 miles west of Portland. The land was "scoured" from being graveled off, common in this part of Maine. We knew if we wanted to grow anything we would have to spend a couple of years digging out boulders and building up the thin layer of topsoil that remained.
That first summer, Dave cleared sumac and brush and I studied what plants might survive our southern Maine climate. Poison ivy, black flies, and mosquitos be damned, we managed to haul in 130 yards of horse manure, plant clover, and winter rye. We decided against growing vegetables for market and concentrated on offering rare or forgotten fruit that are not always found in these parts.
We had big dreams the first few years. Over time we have tempered our expectations to match our skills...and reality. It's just the two of us working the farm and this business, so we are limiting the number of trees and bushes we plant, rethinking ideas that didn't pan out.
So what are some of the plants we grow? We've got blueberries (hey---we live in Maine), raspberries, elderberries, sour bush cherries, beach plums, Green Gage plums, and lingonberries. There are a few other weirdos that are more experimental and not reliable.
Because we are a small operation we are unable to produce a large supply of product. What we can do, is create a jam that is exceptional for a limited number of customers. It is a jam we are proud of.
Mary Lawrence David Sliman
From the Press
Comments from our customers...
"Rare Berry Farm jams are so fresh and flavorful. I am very, very pleased with the excellent quality of the jams." --Kathy B. (Indiana)
"The best jams I've ever had! Large pieces of fruit in every jar, incredibly delicious tangy taste, and a consistency you can't get in a commercial brand." --Anita F. (Pennsylvania)
"Rare Berry Farm jams are delicious, fresh, and colorful. Great for breakfast." --Cathy B. (Maine)
"...is like a bit of heaven in my mouth." --Asherah C. (Maine)
"The taste of the Ergo Elderberry is mind-blowing." --Kevin S. (Connecticut)
"I've never paid $12 for a jar of jam in all my life, but the Beach Plum Bum was worth every penny." --Sarah Y. (Limerick, ME)
"Every time we open one of your jars, a little bit of Maine heaven happens in Austin, Texas." --Leslie Z. (Texas)
"THANKS for making such a great product, for taking this art so nicely forward." --Sandy P. (Florida)